Keith Jarrett: All The Things You Are

It's difficult, after the magnificent 2½-minute piano solo intro, not to be conscious of the fact that "All the Things…" is built on the same type of harmonic cadenzas as many compositions of the Baroque period. Still, the audience is so mesmerized by Jarrett's contrapuntal virtuosity and fantastic phrasing that it only seems to recognize the tune when Peacock and DeJohnette join in, and then breaks into raving applause. That's the "Jarrett magic" at it's best and, though some may call it too conscious, it works so well on this track that one would have to be really picky to bargain one's pleasure. All the more since the trio part that follows shows great interaction and empathy, DeJohnette's drumming being particularly dynamic and inventive. This is obviously one of the highlights of a standard trio that hadn't yet become "standardized."

January 27, 2008 · 0 comments

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John Scofield: All The Things You Are

When "All the Things…" was penned by Kern & Hammerstein, guitars were hardly amplified, much less hooked up to any kind of pedal or electronic device. It's all the more interesting to listen to what a highly wired guitarist like Scofield can do with that timeless standard. Strangely, he first stays rather close to the theme, and the melody is so good that it lends itself beautifully to the saturated sounds of the guitar alone, soon joined by bass and drums. Then comes the deconstructing process, as the volume rises and the brushes give way to powerful sticks. But all the way through, this trio shows a sheer love of this timeless song that they explore in all its dimensions, in a most organic, never intellectual approach, up to a quote of the classic Charlie Parker intro, towards the end of these almost 8 minutes of intense improv.

January 27, 2008 · 0 comments

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Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan: All the Things You Are

If “All the Things You Are" is not the most played standard, it must be close. So, what is so special about this version by Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan? First, the fact that they begin by sharing the melodic line, playing long notes in turns, which gives the tune a brand new color. Then they push the originality one step farther when the alto plays the bridge while the baritone plays counterpoint over the melody. Each solo, supported by an excellent rhythm team, is a little gem, as one should expect from two improvisers like Desmond and Mulligan. But again it’s the latter’s art of counterpoint that makes this version unique among a thousand of others.

January 21, 2008 · 0 comments

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Stan Kenton: All the Things You Are

Kenton admired Gerry Mulligan, but didn't like his attitude or his insistence on everything played his way. Yet for a time, Stan not only bought Mulligan's original compositions such as "Young Blood" and "Limelight," but he assigned Gerry to write arrangements for the dance book, which Mulligan later called "dog work." Mulligan used the opportunity to experiment; his setting of this classic standard is a study in counterpoint and alternate harmony. Childers solos beautifully in this live performance taped in early stereo, but the arrangement is the star. Mulligan would later adapt this setting for a recording of his own big band in 1957.

January 18, 2008 · 0 comments

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Brad Mehldau: All the Things You Are

This is an impressive polyrhythmic exercise by a path-breaking jazz trio. I'm not sure non-musicians will savor all the twists and turns of the Mehldau trio in action. But anyone who has played in a rhythm section will be dazzled by this jumpy, jittery 13-minute performance. The trio's cohesiveness in navigating through a fast 7/4 reworking of this standard is especially impressive. In the liner notes, Mehldau complains about the "constant comparison of this trio with the Bill Evans trio." And he has a valid point. Mehldau's work here moves beyond the orbit of his influences—in particular, check out the dialogue between his left and right hands. Grenadier and Rossy also play at top form.

October 26, 2007 · 0 comments

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Jim Hall & Pat Metheny: All the Things You Are

Throughout his prolific career collaborating with Bill Evans, Ron Carter and Sonny Rollins, guitarist Jim Hall has influenced nearly every modern jazz guitarist through his masterfully selective harmonic note choices. The often-minimalist Hall solo might be thought of as clashing with the rapid-fire pacing of Pat Metheny, but that is what makes this collaboration such an interesting listen. When they play together (Jim panned left and Pat panned right), Hall’s influence on Metheny becomes immediately evident, and the two bounce ideas back and forth creating an interplay that is representative of Hall’s major impact on modern jazz guitar.

October 23, 2007 · 0 comments

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